Academic Technology - Florida State College at Jacksonville

Academic Technology

Thinking Virtually? Tips for Purchasing VR for use at FSCJ

Robyn Reese

Recently, the Ed Tech team has been approached by a few different departments to assist with the acquisition of virtual reality systems for use in creating simulation labs and for learning how to program. As we did preliminary research for the purchases, we found that there was the potential for gaps in understanding the function of the technology that could lead to big problems in the cost and efficiency of virtual reality projects at FSCJ. Prior to making purchases, it is important to recognize what each device needs in order to function properly, and what limitations it may have in terms of available software and functioning. 

Currently, virtual reality devices can be divided into two broad categories, those that require the use of a high-powered computer or laptop to function (computer-tethered), and those that rely upon a mobile device to generate sound and images (mobile-tethered). Broadly speaking, those that require a PC generate better graphics and a more immersive experience but are also more expensive. The most well-known examples of VR devices in this category are the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive. In contrast, VR headsets that rely on mobile devices to power the experience are cheaper but do not always provide the "wow" factor that users expect from virtual reality devices. In this post, we will take a closer look at PC-tethered VR headsets. In a future post, we will look at mobile VR headsets.  If looking for a super low-cost option, check out our post about the mobile-enabled Google Cardboard. 

Oculus Rift

The Oculus Rift is by far the best known virtual reality device on the market. A subsidiary of Facebook, Oculus was the first company to release a viable VR headset that was able to credibly simulate immersive experiences without creating motion sickness issues. It also has some of the best motion control paddles on the market, allowing you to interact a realistic way within the game play or application use. Built-in headphones complete the immersive experience, without canceling out ambient noise.

From a practical standpoint, it is important to know that the Oculus requires a computer with a high-powered processor and graphics card (specifications can be found here), and that the machines provided for FSCJ faculty and staff are not designed to render highly detailed graphics. Computers must also have three USB ports and an HDMI output. When planning a Virtual Reality project, be sure to budget money for the headset, motion controllers, and the computer to power the VR rig. 

Having developed their own platform for applications and movies, content can currently be purchased via the Oculus Store and the VR section of the online gaming retailer Steam. The content in the Oculus store is one of the major advantages of the Rift right now. It includes incredibly detailed games, award-winning movies, and stable apps to convert your desktop into Virtual Reality. While there are currently workarounds that allow you to play Oculus games on the HTC Vive, Oculus has not promised to allow full compatibility to users of competing devices for all apps moving forward. 

HTC Vive

The Vive is a newer and less celebrated VR headset, but, in many cases, it offers a better setup and use experience than the Oculus Rift, but has a higher price. The Vive's major selling point is the fact that it offers "whole room" VR, which allows the user to move freely within a predetermined space. This allows the viewer to have a more immersive experience, getting them off of the couch and into a better-simulated real world experience. It does this by including "lighthouses", bounding sensors that are set up within the room to create a ten square foot "safe" zone. When the user approaches the edge of this area, they will encounter a virtual "wall" that lets them know that they have reached the end of the bounded play area. 

While the use of the lighthouses to enable more authentic movement in space provides a major advantage for the Vive, it is disadvantaged in the games and apps department. Vive's gaming platform was developed in conjunction with Steam's parent company Valve, and thus it is intended to use apps purchased through that platform. In order to access games via the Oculus store, users must download third party apps that are not guaranteed to work in perpetuity. It is important, therefore, that users insure (at least at this early stage of technology development) that the apps that they would like to use are available for their chosen device. This, of course, is in addition to insuring that the user's personal computer meets the required specifications for use, which can be found here

Thus, while both devices provide the best virtual reality experiences available on the consumer market today, each has features that may make them a better fit for specific educational technology projects. Be sure to do ample research prior to making purchases, and feel free to contact the Educational Technology department with any questions you may have

 

Not sure that you have thousands to spend for your virtual reality project? Coming soon to the AT Blog: a review of the best mobile VR headsets for device compatibility and cost effectiveness. 

Behind the Scenes of 2017's Commencement Livestream!

DMP, On Location, PhotosRobyn Reese

Digital Media Productions (with a little bit of help from Educational Technology) was responsible for live streaming FSCJ's annual Commencement exercises, held at the Veterans' Memorial Arena on May 11, 2017. Live streaming enables students' families and support systems to watch the commencement from anywhere in the world via live.fscj.edu or Facebook live. This year's stream was viewed by over 3,500 people in 38 different countries! 

Live streaming requires the use of ten people, three cameras, several computers, yards of cables, and hours of preparation! View the carousel of images below to get a look behind the scenes at the process of setup and filming. 

Blackboard Upgrade: Known Issues and Workarounds

Brandi Bleak
FSCJ Blackboard LMS Upgrade Complete

The Blackboard LMS upgrade is complete and the system is now available. Below, we will list known issues and workarounds discovered within the upgraded system. If you discover additional issues please submit a ticket by going to help.fscj.edu.


RESOLVED!

This issue has been resolved by the Bb and FSCJ Admins.

Login Loop

When attempting to login to Blackboard, you may get pushed into a loop that takes you back to the Artemis/Connections login button loop. If this occurs, please clear you cache and close the browser, then try again. it may take a couple times, however this should resolve the issue.

We are working to resolve this intermittent issue and apologize for any inconvenience it may cause.


RESOLVED

This issue has been resolved by the Bb and FSCJ Admins.

Turnitin

We are currently researching an issue with Turnitin where the following may not be functioning correctly:

  • The links to Turnitit assignments are broken.
  • Unable to edit current Turnitit assignments.
  • Unable to create new Turnitit assignments.

We will update this post with additional information as it is discovered.


image001.png

RESOLVED!

This issue has been resolved by the Bb and FSCJ Admins.

Grade Center Anomaly

Instructors may notice a visual anomaly in the grade center when entering grades, such as “19undefined00”. The grades will be entered and viewable in the grade history of the grade center and students will not notice anything unusual. We are currently working with Blackboard on a solution.


Newly discovered issues will appear on Tips & Tricks tab within Blackboard.

Chatbots In Education: Are They Useful?

EdTechElizabeth Rodrigue

Recently, the term "Chatbot" has come to prominence in EdTech research. What is a Chatbot? They are software that allows for a conversational or messaging style interface to simulate a human interaction. They are computer programs that do their best to act like humans. Some Chatbots have artificial intelligence and many have a database of information and responses for whatever they are asked. Many people use Chatbots on a daily basis to shop, get directions, or even schedule appointments. Some examples of Chatbots would be Siri, Cortana, and Alexa, created by Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon, respectively. Increasingly, people are turning to chatbots to control huge aspects of their life, as they can be used for organization, media consumption, and even to control your home's climate!  

How can Chatbots be used in education? Many colleges have already started using or discussing the idea of Chatbots as part of the learning experience. The general idea is that a Chatbot software would make it simpler for students to navigate their classes and college life while making it easier for professors and staff by answering the repetitive questions for them and freeing up more space for more in-depth academic interactions. So, students would be able to turn to the Chatbot for class times and room numbers, when assignments are due, applying for student aid, registering for classes, and other routine queries. An example of successful implementation of a chatbot is Georgia State's AdmitHub so that their students could complete all of the typical student actions, such as signing up for housing, through a simple chat interface.

Another example of a working Chatbot in education is integrated into the foreign language learning software Duolingo. Learners can hold a text-based conversation in the language they are studying that revolves around a specific concept. the responses entered into the interface determine the direction of the conversation, which helps one to practice language organically, in  a way that is more useful for retention and more authentic to the real-world speaking and writing experience.

Chatbot technology is still relatively new so humans have to respond to and edit content on occasion.  In the future, it is a hope that chatbots will be able to "learn" organically, so that human interaction will enable them to gain more knowledge that they can then use in future interactions.  All in all Chatbots can make a significant difference in education but we still have a long way to go with the technology so that Chatbots can completely function on their own.

In Focus LIVE: Academic Reorganization Discussion

In Focus, EdTech, DMPBrandi Bleak

During the first week of May, Dr. Bioteau released a President’s Message that described in broad strokes some of the changes that will be made in Academic Affairs for the 2017-2018 year. Dr. Wall asked to utilize the In Focus platform to present a more detailed account of this new organizational structure and to provide an opportunity for faculty and staff to ask questions directly. There was a specific focus on those in Academic Affairs areas. Above, you can view a recording of this live-streamed conversation between Dr. Wall and Assistant Director of Academic Technology Brandi Bleak. 

Viewers of the livestream can follow along with Dr. Wall's PowerPoint below. Towards the end of the segment, Dr. Wall promised to answer all questions that were not covered prior to the end of the stream in this space. Please continue to revisit this space over the next few weeks, as those answers are still forthcoming. Those who have questions moving forward can direct them to provost@fscj.edu.

Explore Lecture Capture

EdTechRobyn Reese

Lecture Capture is becoming a ubiquitous educational technology in higher education because it allows students to have the flexible experience that they expect in a blended or fully online class. Lecture capture can take on a number of forms, and serve several purposes depending upon the pedagogical needs of the professor.  It can be used to record lectures for students who may miss class or need a review, or can be provided in advance of class meetings to front load content that may be needed for a lab or experiential exercise.  It may involve a classic, performative lecture led by a professor, or may simply be a demonstration of a crucial skill or technique that requires repetition for retention.

The Office of the Provost asked the Academic Technology department to investigate the use of lecture capture at FSCJ, for the launching of a pilot project in the Fall of 2017.  The presentation below is a summary of the team's findings, with information about how professors and lecturers can become involved, or obtain more information. 

Watch a Special (End-of-Semester) In Focus: Student Edition

In Focus, DMP, EdTech, AppsRobyn Reese

At this time of year, we all struggle to make it the last fifteen percent of the semester because we just want to think about the summertime! The drawback of this magical feeling of euphoria is that it is also finals time: the most important part of the term! For April's In Focus: Student Edition, Brandi and Robyn took a look at some apps to help you stay on track during these final days so that you can master your final exams. Then, we switched gears to look at ways that you can make the most of your summer!

After watching the video, you can download the apps that were discussed by clicking on the tiles below. Good luck on your final exams and happy summer! 

Blackboard Upgrade in the Works!

EdTech, NewsBrandi Bleak
blackboard logo

FSCJ is planning to upgrade Blackboard on May 10, 2017, with outages certain on May 10, and possible throughout the day on May 11. 

Why Upgrade?

Blackboard releases version updates twice a year, in order to introduce new features and address bugs that are problematic in old ones. Currently, we are a bit behind in adoption of Blackboard versions, and will be making a larger leap from Version 9.1 CU 5 2014 to Version 9.1 Q2 2016.

What to do to Prepare for the Upgrade

There is very little that needs to be done by instructors or students to insure that the upgrade is successful; the Academic Technology Department will work with Blackboard to complete the transition as seamlessly as possible. 

We are asking, however, that professors export any summer courses that you are working on now and store them locally for backup purposes. For more information on how to do this, visit the FSCJ Knowledge Base. 

What to Expect after the Upgrade

Though the Blackboard interface will not change substantially as a result of this upgrade, and most things will look and function the same, users will notice some small changes, detailed below. 

Announcements

When creating an announcement, "Not Date Restricted" is now selected by default.

Email

This release fixes an issue with email sent from Blackboard. Some email clients do not use the reply-to header of emails sent by BbLearn to populate the "To:" field when the user replies to an email. As a result, some students were confused when they received email from do-not-reply@<bblearn_domain> instead of their instructor's email address. This update will fix that problem.

Discussions

Users can navigate from thread to thread without having to return to the main Discussions page.

Browser & HTML5 support

Learn 9.1 now supports the Microsoft Edge browser. The Content Editor now supports HTML5 Audio and Video playback in Chrome and Edge browsers.

VALUE rubrics

As part of the Association of American Colleges & Universities' (AAC&U’s) Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) initiative, the VALUE rubrics contribute to the national dialogue on assessment of college student learning. Educational professionals from over 100 higher education institutions collaboratively developed 16 VALUE rubrics to use the most frequently identified characteristics for measuring success in key learning outcomes.

For users who are interested in using these rubrics, Blackboard has made them available for download and import. Each rubric has been built and formatted appropriately so it can be imported to your courses and used anywhere you can align and evaluate with rubrics today. The downloadable rubrics are available in US English only because this is how they were authored by AAC&U.

iWork, Garageband, and iMovie just got better!

AppsRobyn Reese

Good news for owners of iOS devices! When Apple recently updated its flagship apps for productivity and creativity, it lowered their price to...wait for it....FREE! This is great news for users of Apple's mobile devices, as these apps were previously among the higher priced in the app store, ranging from $4.99 to $9.99 each. All are essential for making the most out of your Mac or tablet. Details of the functionalities of each are presented below, for those who are not already familiar with them. Apps are available for Macbooks, iPhones, and iPads, and require that you have one of the most recent operating systems (iOS 10 or MacOS Yosemite).

While these apps are must-haves for the casual user, they also have a number of pedagogical applications as tools for allowing students to synthesize and showcase learning in a variety of cool ways that will help them to develop real world skills. Teachers can also use the last two creativity tools to find ways to deliver instruction to students asynchronously while hitting different learning modalities. 

Pages

Apple's cleanly designed word processing app can help users make visually appealing posters, cards, and flyers, as well as serving as a word processor. Documents are stored automatically in the cloud for easy collaboration. 

Numbers

Numbers is Apple's spreadsheet application, and while it is not highly robust in the formula department (Excel remains the industry standard), it can be used to easily make visualizations of simple data sets. 

Keynote

With a slew of elegant-looking templates, Keynote makes beautiful presentations the norm. Its strengths are in looks and photo editing, though it does not feature as many customizable tools as PowerPoint. 

Garageband

Want to make music or a podcast? Garageband is the app for you! It allows you to easily record voices or instrumentation and comes with built in beats and sound effects. It has been used to create top ten pop songs, and is a great tool for auditory creativity. 

iMovie

iMovie allows you to easily make slideshows and movies with a series of still images or video files. It comes with built in transitions, music, and add-ons like credits and introductions that can enable you to make professional-looking movies very easily. 

In Focus LIVE: New MediaSpace Tools!

In Focus, EdTech, DMPRobyn Reese

On March 31, the Academic Technology Department hosted an episode of In Focus LIVE that showcased some of the new, easy to use features of MediaSpace, FSCJ's video platform! While you may have used MediaSpace to watch videos, store media, or integrate into your Blackboard courses, a recent update has also given faculty and staff the opportunity to create video quizzes and to do simple screen and lecture capture. MediaSpace expert Michael Smith joined Brandi and Robyn to share best practices for using these new tools within and outside of Blackboard. Watch the In Focus episode below, then, for more information about specific features mentioned in the segment, view the curated playlist of videos below, provided by Kaltura/MediaSpace.

If you are interested in becoming a MediaSpace expert, sign up for Kaltura University, Kaltura's free and comprehensive training program! Kaltura University provides a great overview of how to make, store, and manage videos, with details about chaptering and organizing content.  


How to Use MediaSpace and Upload Videos

Become a MediaSpace power user! This video will show you how it works, and how you can use it to find and view video content at FSCJ. It will also give you a look at how to upload a video from your computer to MediaSpace and how your videos can be organized into playlists and channels. 


Using the CaptureSpace Recorder

CaptureSpace is an exciting new tool that is available for FREE for all FSCJ faculty and staff. It can be used to do screen, voice, and camera recordings with up to three inputs. This video will give a brief overview of how to record videos using CaptureSpace, and will explain how to complete post-production tasks like chaptering and indexing. finally, it provides a look at the flexible media player that is one of the unique features of screencasts that are completed using CaptureSpace. 


 

Post-production Video Tips

This short video will give the novice creator of educational content some tips for how to make videos look more professional. Many of the suggestions provided, including trimming, adding a title, and adding credits, can be done with the touch of a button within MediaSpace.

Others, like captioning for accessibility, are equally important for educational content, but must be done outside of the MediaSpace platform. More information about captioning can be found at the bottom of this blog post. 


 

Adding Video Quizzes

Video quizzes are the newest and most exciting educational feature to be added to the MediaSpace platform. Video quizzes can be created with any video that has been uploaded to the system, and provide a wide range of flexibility in terms of the types of questions that can be asked and their placement within the video. Using the easy techniques that are integrated into MediaSpace, you can create professional looking video assessments that can measure student engagement with media content, as well as concept retention. 


 

Gathering Data from Video Quizzes

Once you have created a video quiz, learn how to use a variety of different tools to gather data about your students' performance. Reports can be viewed within Kaltura, can be exported into Excel, and can be directly sent to the Blackboard gradebook.

Video quizzes can be integrated into Blackboard, to be used for course assessment, as well as being used to track which students are watching required course media.


Tips for using Video for Teaching and Learning

Are you new to creating videos for educational purposes? Learn from the wisdom of MediaSpace users and video professionals from around the country who are interviewed in this video and provide simple tips that you can incorporate into your work. Remember: in making educational videos content, not technology, is king! Make sure that you are using the tool of video to deliver the information that you want your students to learn. 


For more information about how captioning for accessibility is handled at FSCJ, visit the Information Technology Knowledge Base here

Questions, comments or feedback? Email et@fscj.edu.

Are you Maintaining Equal Access for all Students?

EdTechRobyn Reese

One of the main benefits of twenty-first century educational technology is its ability to increase opportunity for students to learn and grow academically. Learning Management Systems like Blackboard allow students to earn college credit at any time and from anywhere, while supplements like Khan Academy, Coursera, and EdX allow students to master skills without even paying for traditional education! Oftentimes, though, when using technology to deliver content, we forget that crucial groups of students with disabilities are not always able to access this content on a level playing field.   

Accessibility for Americans with Disabilities is a crucial, but often overlooked, piece of the academic technology puzzle, and refers to the removing of barriers that prevent people with disabilities from having access to web-based content. When a site, document, or video is correctly designed with features such as captioning, proper headings, or good use of color, it allows for all users to have equal access to needed material. Careful attention to a few simple guidelines can help you to ensure compliance. 

The Educational Technology Department has curated a few resources to guide you along the way! The .pdf below provides detailed instructions for maintaining the accessibility of all types of electronic files and systems. Please feel free to download and share it, as needed.

Additionally, if you are looking for assistance with making complex images (such as graphics or flow charts) accessible, or with adding accessibility components to mathematical expressions, we have found that the non-profit Diagram Center has a number of useful resources that can provide guidance. 

It is important to remember that, under the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 and sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, it is required by federal law for emerging use of technology in the classroom to be easily accessible to students with disabilities. The responsibility for complying with this federal law rests on all members of academic institutions who are creating and putting out content. Any content that relates to testable course objectives must meet federal accessibility guidelines. , If you have specific questions about accessibility, please email et@fscj.edu.

Blackboard Collaborate Webinars

Videos, TutorialRobyn Reese

FSCJ recently made the switch to Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, a very useful synchronous communication tool that is available within every Blackboard course shell. Blackboard allows individuals to collaborate (hence the name ;) ) over the web using their computer's onboard camera or microphone to give live lessons or work on group projects. 

It also allows professors to share and mark up powerpoints or word documents with students, show and demonstrate applications and screens, and record lessons for later viewing by students. It is a truly versatile and incredibly useful tool for online faculty, as well as those teaching face to face classes! 

Prior to Spring Break, the Educational Technology Team hosted a series of webinars that took a deep look at the many features of Blackboard Collaborate. All three webinars are shared below. 

This webinar is useful for proessors who are just getting started with using Collaborate. It covers setting up the camera and microphone, sharing applications and files, and the use of the digital whiteboard. 

This webinar picks up where Beyond the Basics left off, and covers breaking students into groups, recording sessions, and ideas for using the whiteboard and file sharing applications. 

This webinar reviews the features of the Collaborate mobile app, as well as best practices for its use. 

We hope that these webinars are useful for faculty and staff in providing a introduction to and a reference for Collaborate. As always, please feel free to direct any further questions to et@fscj.edu.

Tools for the Millennial Student Training Materials

EdTech, AppsRobyn Reese

As a part of the Office of Training and Organizational Development's One Step Program, the Educational Technology team presented a workshop on teaching millennials with technology, focusing on a series of learning methods that were cited as the most useful by the Adobe Creativity Study.  The video below provides a summary of the information covered in the training. 

Those who are interested in taking this training (or others) through the Office of Training and Development should visit training.fscj.edu.  

Any way you Slice it, Raspberry Pi makes Computing Sweeeet!

Robyn Reese

Recently, we in the Academic Technology department have been talking a lot about the Raspberry Pi, a computer that packs a lot of power into a teeny magenta case. The Raspberry PI was created in the United Kingdom to help democratize computing by providing an economical platform to teach coding and engineering in schools and to encourage experimentation in robotics.

In the five years since the first Raspberry Pi model was launched, the product has gone through several iterations, and is the third most successful computing platform of all time. The newest version, the Raspberry Pi Zero W, has a  1GHz, single-core CPU, 512 MB RAM, various mini-HDMI and and mini-USB ports, 802.11n wireless LAN, and Bluetooth 4.0, all for the astonishingly low price of $10.  While it does not come with a keyboard, mouse, monitor, or even an operating system, its small size makes it a great fit for creative projects.

Check out this Ars Technica article to see some of the ways that people around the world have used the Raspberry Pi to power robotics, create emulators, and even create musical vegetables.

Have a great educational use for a Raspberry Pi?  Let us know at et@fscj.edu! 

Teaching with Technology: Mobile Apps for the Classroom

Workshop, EdTech, AppsRobyn Reese

As a part of the Office of Training and Organizational Development's One Step Program, the Educational Technology team presented a workshop on new mobile apps that can be used for creating, sharing, and presenting in the classroom. The video below provides a summary of the information covered in the training. 

Those who are interested in taking this training (or others) through the Office of Training and Development should visit training.fscj.edu.  

Virtual Reality on a Budget!

AppsRobyn Reese

Interested in getting your students out of the classroom and into the circulatory system, onto the grounds of Versailles, or even circling the moon? Virtual trips like these used to be more akin to Star Trek than the real world of learning, but in the last few years more economical and abundant technologies have made it possible for anyone to have an impressive VR experience for very little cash!

Last week at the Academic Technology Open House, our student assistant Elizabeth Rodrigue provided a demonstration of Google Cardboard, a fifteen dollar headset that uses your smartphone as the conduit for a pretty impressive 360-degree video experience. Here's what she had to say about it: 

Google Cardboard is a headset apparatus with two lenses that uses your phone to create an immersive 360 experience. Though there are tons of apps that work with Google Cardboard, at the Academic Technology Open House we chose to showcase Google Expeditions, an "adventure" app that allows instructors to take a class to almost any place in the world they can imagine. "Expeditions" range from underwater scenes to ancient ruins or large cities. You can even take a look at different careers! The instructor uses their personal mobile device to work as a "guide", and the app provides the guide with a paragraph about what is being seen, three questions to ask the students, and key points that can mark certain areas in the scene for students to look at when clicked upon. The students are the "explorers" and are immersed in the experience with the headsets. After some initial skepticism, the Google Expeditions presentation was well received, and by the end of it many faculty and staff were excited about how they could utilize it.

The Cardboard headset is quickly becoming a logical choice for those looking for an entry-level VR experience, and recently sold their ten millionth headset.  Google Cardboard can also be used as a viewer to access any of the thousands of 360-degree videos that are housed in YouTube by using the youtube app in iOS or Android, and setting it to "Cardboard" mode by clicking on the goggles icon in the bottom right. An example of such a video can be seen below, which allows the viewer to experience a current art exhibition at the Hirschhorn Museum at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. This was created by the New York Times as a part of The Daily 360 video series, through which the NYT releases a different 360-degree video each day on a topic of cultural, social, or political importance. The whole series can be accessed here

In Focus Student Edition: Collaborating on the Go

In FocusElizabeth Rodrigue

A big part of success for college students is keeping up with the work of communicating with professors and fellow learners. This is even MORE important if you are enrolled in online or hybrid courses, since group projects, content questions, and grade inquiries are more challenging when your audience is not right in front of you! Sometimes managing your schedule and workload can feel stressful.

Worry no longer...Educational Technology has your back! Join us for In Focus: Student Edition, where we discuss adding your FSCJ email and calendar to your mobile device and show you some tools for collaborating with classmates efficiently and effectively. 

Technologies covered in this video:

Blackboard Collaborate

Blackboard Collaborate is a web conferencing tool that is used by professors to connect with students. As a student, you can use Blackboard Collaborate to meet with your peers for a group project, attend a webinar, or share and work on documents. There are also tools to share your screen, review a PowerPoint presentation, and write on a digital whiteboard. Blackboard Collaborate can be accessed in courses, if your professor has enabled the Tool. Please ask your professor if it is not visible within the course’s menu on the lefthand side of the course shell.

For more assistance with Blackboard Collaborate, submit a ticket at help.fscj.edu or visit the Blackboard Help site.

Microsoft OneNote

OneNote is a virtual notebook tool that can be used to store photos, documents, links, and audio memos. Notebooks are stored in the cloud, update automatically, and can be shared. There is also a mobile app for OneNote that allows you to take photos, videos, and record audio files. OneNote is Included in Office 365 Suite and is FREE for all FSCJ faculty, staff and students.

For instructions on how to download Office 365: https://fscj.service-now.com/esp?id=kb_article&sys_id=049dc4794f108200e67c76601310c722

For more information on OneNote from Microsoft: https://support.office.com/en-us/onenote

Dropbox (and Paper)

Dropbox is a tool that allows you to store and share digital files with others. The basic version of Dropbox is free and gives you 2GB of space to use. You can write, comment, and embed media in Dropbox and access those Documents from anywhere, even a smart phone!

Click the link below to sign up for the FREE version of Dropbox.

https://www.dropbox.com/register

Google Drive / Docs / Hangouts

Google Drive is a FREE cloud storage service that provides 15GB of space for its users. It accepts all file types and allows for collaboration and sharing with others. Google Drive integrates with the Google Productivity Suite, which includes these free, cloud-based apps: Google Docs, a word processor, Google Sheets, a spreadsheet program, and Google Slides, a presentation program. These are very similar to the Office365 Tool Suite. 

Google also provides a great communication and conferencing tool, Hangouts. It  allows users to text, make FREE calls, or video chat. The video function uses your computer's webcam, but also has screen sharing capabilities, so that you can show someone else what you are working on. You can use it to communicate one-on-one or in a group. It can also be used anywhere, via the Mobile Hangouts app, which is available for iPhones, IOS, and android devices.

For more about the features offered in Google Drive:
https://www.google.com/drive/using-drive/#start

Find out how to get started with Google Docs: https://support.google.com/drive/answer/2424384?hl=en

Find out how to get started with Google Hangouts: https://support.google.com/hangouts/answer/2944865?hl=en

Thanks for watching! If you have any questions or would like to suggest topics for future episodes of In Focus, please email us at et@fscj.edu.

Humanities Open Source Remixes!

Robyn Reese

If you are a Professor of Art, History, Literature, or Humanities, or just a humanities nerd (like me), 2017 is shaping up to be the year of the open source bonanza! Three really exciting new resources are available to help you find, remix, and use digital visual culture, free of charge! 

Metmuseum.org

Recently the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, North America's largest museum, announced that it was switching to an Open Access policy for all of its artworks that are in the public domain under a Creative Commons 0 license. This means that researchers, designers, artists, and students can download, print, change, and remix any of the artworks that have the Creative Commons 0 icon under their catalog entry at metmuseum.com (see example below). Since the Met has one of the largest collections of fine arts and historical artifacts in the world, this opens up a wealth of possibilities for publishing, displaying and sourcing these works without paying exhorbitant fees for the rights! 

Image of The Harvesters by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1565), as it appears at http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/435809

Image of The Harvesters by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1565), as it appears at http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/435809

The Public Domain Review

The Public Domain Review describes itself as "an ever-growing cabinet of curiosities for the digital age...with a focus on the surprising, the strange, and the beautiful". It is an open-source treasure trove of digital cultural artifacts that are divided into four categories: film, audio, books, and images. Articles are periodically written that are curated around a specific subject. This results in the bringing together of objects from all four categories by theme, period, or topic, so that readers can dive deeply into the material documentation of a subject that they find personally or academically interesting. A wonderful recent example of this type of article dives into nineteenth-century yellow journalism as historical example of the "fake news" phenomenon. You can take a closer look at this story by clicking on the photo below. 

Detail from The Fin de Siècle Newspaper Proprietor, featured in an 1894 issue of Puck magazine.  https://publicdomainreview.org/collections/yellow-journalism-the-fake-news-of-the-19th-century/

Detail from The Fin de Siècle Newspaper Proprietor, featured in an 1894 issue of Puck magazine.  https://publicdomainreview.org/collections/yellow-journalism-the-fake-news-of-the-19th-century/

Digital Public Library of America

The Digital Public Library of America is a digital database of maps, books, documents and ephemera that is housed in public libraries across the country. It goes beyond the traditional database because it is actually a platform that uses API (Application Programming Interface) and metadata to organize its collection, which allows for the creation of apps that can sort and deliver content in a variety of really interesting and useful ways. While the technology behind this is a bit tough to explain (the video below provides more information), the results are incredibly useful. Users can sort library materials by subject, location created, or even by color! Click here to view an awesome collection of artifacts and primary sources from various times and locations that help to explain the history and context of Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter. 

So, as you can see, these three open source resources can help to make art, history, and literature come alive for your students by situating it in context and helping to generate new ideas, understanding, and creative products. 

For more information about other open source resources and how they are currently being used at FSCJ, view our In Focus Live: Open Educational Resources seminar, filmed in December. 

Academic Technology Open House

Robyn Reese
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You've heard us at Convocation, seen us on In Focus, and met us at Technology Tours. On Friday, March 3 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., we invite you to visit us at the Academic Technology hub at the Deerwood Campus TV Studio! 

At this, the first annual Academic Technology Open House, the Digital Media Productions, Client Services, and Educational Technology teams will be showcasing the skills and resources that they use to support the FSCJ community, including:

  • Live technology help provided by the Client Services Staff
  • Blackboard Collaborate mini-training at each hour and half-hour
  • Easy screen recording training at :15 and :45 after the hour
  • Demonstrations of multi-platform mobile apps to support education
  • Free professional headshots
  • iPad Pro demonstration
  • Tours of the TV studio and green screen area
  • Ideas for integrating low-cost virtual reality technology into face-to-face classes. 

All Faculty and Staff are welcome to join us at their convenience! Hope to see you there! 

Join AT and TOD for Campus Solutions Web-Based Training!

VideosRobyn Reese

The Office of Training and Organizational Development teamed up with Academic Technology to produce a live web-based training for student services employees to introduce the new Campus Solutions admissions system! If you missed the training, or would like to view it again, you can do so here. The same video is also accessible at training.fscj.edu. Please direct any questions that you may have about the video's content to hrtraining@fscj.edu.